Lawyers Baljit Singh and Sangeet Kaur Deo and former senator Jaspal Singh are among six Malaysian politicians hailing from the Sikh community who may be chosen by their respective parties to run in the next general elections.
The other three – brothers Gobind Singh Deo, Jagdeep Singh Deo and Ramkarpal Singh Deo – are incumbents.
Sangeet and the trio are children of the late Karpal Singh, the legendary lawmaker and lawyer from the Democratic Action Party (DAP).
Another three from the Sikh community with an outside chance are former senator Daljit Singh from the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), lawyer Naran Singh from People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and former Perak assemblyman Keshvinder Singh.
Malaysians will go to the polls soon to elect a new Federal Government as well as a majority of the state governments following Prime Minister Mohd Najib Razak’s announcement today (6 April 2018) that the Federal parliament will be dissolved tomorrow. Najib leads the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
Baljit and Sangeet would be entering the Parliament for the first time should they win the race.
The 52-year old Baljit is said to be Gerakan’s choice for the Jelutong parliamentary seat, a Penang seat one time held by Karpal who was famously known as the Tiger of Jelutong.
The Gerakan legal and human rights bureau head, who is also BN coordinator for Jelutong, speaks fluent Hokkien.
Sangeet, who is the Selangor DAP women’s wing deputy chief, is reportedly being considered to contest in Puchong, the parliamentary seat currently held by her older brother Gobind.
Jaspal, an entrepreneur turn politician, is no stranger to the Parliament having served two-terms at the the upper legislative chamber known as Dewan Negara between 2011-2017.
The MIC vice president is eyeing the Kedah state seat of Bukit Selambau, one of the two state seats in the Merbok parliamentary seat. BN won Merbok in the 2013.
In 2015, Jaspal was elected as VP in MIC after having served as the party treasurer.
In that same party election, Daljit, who had earlier served as a senator between 2008 and 20111, won a seat in the party’s central working committee (CWC).
He then became a director at the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board and the Indian affairs advisor to Minister of Tourism and Culture.
Daljit has been tasked to work at one of the Selangor constituencies.
Criminal lawyer Naran Singh is in the running for the Perak state seat of Buntong won by the DAP in the last election.
Keshvinder, another potential candidate, first emerged on the political scene when he successfully ran under the DAP banner for the Malim Nawar state seat in 2008.
The then opposition coalition of Pakatan Rakyat managed to wrest the state from BN. In 2009, Perak went back to BN control when three state assemblymen became BN-friendly independents. In 2010, Keshvinder also joined their ranks as BN-friendly lawmakers.
Keshvinder Singh and Hee Yit Foong, who was part of the original three, were appointed coordinators for the Non-Islamic Affairs and Caring Society committees.
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